To the Editor,
Re: Conservation officers aren’t conserving much, Letters, Sept. 19.
Nanaimo is not a wild animal sanctuary or a provincial park.
Attracting wild animals is not caused by bits of discarded garbage, the occasional morsel of spoiled food or a few pounds of grain. Such minimal elements are immediately cleaned up, after disposal, by crows and seagulls. Consider the uncontrolled aroma from barbecues, fast food outlets and butcher shops where prevailing winds carry the enticing odours to the wilderness areas where bear and cougar are in constant search for food.
Vegetation such as fruit trees, vegetable tops and flowers with rich perfume are the chief contributors to the attraction of deer in urban areas. Thus nature generously contributes to the presence of deer in urban areas, which make easy prey for cougar.
Wild animal culling in highly human populated areas is now necessary. Another remedy would be to establish buffer zones with lines drawn 30 kilometres from urban areas which ravenous wildlife creatures will not be permitted to roam across. Beauty, appreciation and protection of wildlife must receive our utmost attention for its preservation; however, a balance must be struck, whereby methods will be developed to separate humans from marauding predators.
Bylaws must be drafted for the sake of human protection. We must remember, the most able human is no match for a bloodthirsty cougar or any contest against a 400-pound bear. The life-threatening possibilities are real; we must gauge our mentality and judgment to face reality. Bear and cougar have been known to kill humans; the next attack could occur at or near a Nanaimo schoolyard and the victims could very easily be kindergarten children.